What Had Happened Was Trending stories on the intersections of race, sports & culture

Daily Dose: 12/20/16

Michelle Obama makes us weepy for what we’ll miss

5:35 PMNews alert: There is now a fantasy sports app for The Bachelor, which is the greatest news of 2016. Legit.

We’ve said this many times before, but the person we’re going to miss the most is Michelle Obama. Yes, we’re worried about the global balance of power that’s going to come with this change in the White House, and yes, the government is going to be a mess with all sorts of people who have no idea what they’re doing involved. But in the house? At the crib? The first lady was running things, and it was so much fun to see and be a part of. She sat down with Oprah for an interview, and it made me very sad. ABC News has the details on what she said.

One of the most important classes I ever took in my life was called TOK. Theory of Knowledge. In it, we discussed all sorts of quasi-existential questions and applied them to real-life situations, and in high school, that can really affect your worldview. Anyway, we’d ask each other a ton of bizarre stuff and see if we could come up with answers. In said class, I can totally imagine spending a full week discussing the one that FiveThirtyEight’s says came from a toddler: Why do balloons pop?

LeBron James cannot be stopped. His whole life aside from basketball is so beyond productive that it makes me question what I’m doing with my life, to be quite honest. His latest venture is a television program call The Wall, which, if I may, is a complete ripoff of the best game show bit of all time, Plinko, from The Price Is Right. That aside, it looks like it’s going to be awesome. Game shows aren’t easy to make successful and they come and go all the time. ESPN’s Dave McMenamin has the story.

DeMarcus Cousins is a guy with an interesting reputation. He’s known for not exactly being a big fan of authority, and that’s been the case ever since he was in college. Which, of course, is fine, to a point, and is exactly what makes him such a dominant player. That and being tremendously skilled at the game, obviously. But recently, he went way too far with a Sacramento Bee reporter and it was not a good look at all. The Undefeated’s Marc Spears reports that the Kings hit him with a heavy fine, for said actions.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Here’s one thing you should never do: stand on ice that’s liable to break with freezing cold water underneath. Here’s another thing you shouldn’t do: try to hit a golf ball on said ice. You know why? Because you will fail and will absolutely hit the deck. This video is hilarious.

Snack Time: If you’re like me, you like to listen to the radio. If you’re even more like me, you like to listen to radio specific to your own physical location at the time. Radio Garden is exactly that, globally.

Dessert: This is the best dancing coach of all time. Not even close.

The Chicken Connoisseur

The ‘Pengest Munch’ is back

and still eating more chicken

5:54 PMBy now, you know who the Chicken Connoisseur is. We talked about him on the All Day Podcast. He’s an internet celebrity now and he’s got people proudly eating chicken in public and on camera with no fear of repercussions from ignorant onlookers. In short, he’s a hero.

His newest video just dropped and my man knows that his life has changed. What do you do when you become a 23-year-old YouTube star food critic? Keep doing what you do, pleighboi. The man born Elijah Quashie has stepped up his kicks game, and per usual, the production values are on point. Also to be noted, MY MAN WEARS GLOVES ON TELEVISION. Handwear game is quite strong.

Back to the latest video, though. Dude is legit famous. People are taking pictures of him in chicken spots, he holds and drinks from soda cans with his pinky up and tucks his napkin in his shirt because he’s just mobbin’ like that he’s actually wearing a necktie. When I eat chicken, I wipe the grease on my pants, if you were wondering.

Anyway, you can check it out for yourself to see the ratings from Sam’s in Woodside Park. But come on, someone, anyone, bring this man to the United States to rate food. What on earth are we waiting for? He’s a ready-made star.

Daily Dose: 12/16/16

‘Star Wars’ got bars?

11:57 AMGood day from Atlanta, kiddos. I’ve been doing my best to find as many spots as I can from FX’s Atlanta and check them out. Let’s just say that the most important one, I got covered. As they say: Lemon. Pepper. Wet.

Today’s the day. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be released nationwide, ushering in an entirely new generation of fans to a franchise that will probably outlive us all. I’ve had many things to say about this product over the years, and that hasn’t changed today, either. I wrote a review, but more importantly, we need to know what the cast has been up to. Riz Ahmed is that dude, and if you didn’t already know, homey likes to kick flows on the side. He told Good Morning America all about it.

Donald Trump has a huge problem on his hands. Let’s put aside the state that we’re in as a nation with this man getting ready to walk into the White House. For him, reputation is everything. And now that it’s become more clear that Russia might have been involved in affecting the last presidential election, the White House, and specifically President Barack Obama, ain’t playing. Basically, Trump is acting like this is all a smear campaign, truth be damned. Alas, the truth matters. ABC News reports.

Police killings have become something that we actually pay attention to, in recent years. But what’s even scarier is that, for years, the government basically had no real idea of how often this happened. Seriously, it just wasn’t particularly paid attention to. Think about that. Thankfully, we have newsrooms willing to do that work in this country. Now, the feds are finally trying to catch up on this information themselves. It’s about time, frankly. FiveThirtyEight’s Carl Bialik explains how they finally have a decent idea of what’s really going on.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers football program is a mess. Earlier this week, 10 players were suspended as a result of a Title IX investigation into a circumstance involving a sexual assault. With the Holiday Bowl coming up, this was a serious blow to the team’s chances of winning a football game, but hello, the accusations are EXTREMELY problematic. Now, the whole team is not participating in football activities, as if the players are being discriminated against. Um, no, they’re not. Here are the details. Get your squad together, Tracy Claeys. This is shameful.

Free Food

Coffee Break: As I mentioned before, your boy is in the ATL for the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl taking place Saturday. Conveniently, Gucci Mane’s new album The Return Of East Atlanta Santa also dropped today. You can be like me and listen to it while you read this, just like I did while I wrote it.

Snack Time: Obama is one of the most popular figures on earth at this moment, and what he looks like is well scrutinized. So, you should probably check out this GIF of him aging over the course of his lifetime.

Dessert: James Corden does one thing really, really well. He sings in cars. For Christmas, he brought the best.

Charleston church shooter found guilty on all charges

Dylann Roof will defend himself during the sentencing phase in January

5:14 PMThe man who walked into a Charleston, South Carolina, church and massacred nine people has been found guilty by a jury in the federal trial on the shootings at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015. This case had enough twists to make a reasonable person believe that, even with a confession on video, Dylann Roof might somehow walk away scot-free. That didn’t happen. He was found guilty on 33 counts.

Roof, 22, plans to defend himself during the next phase of the trial: the sentencing process. Because the death penalty is on the table, he will quite literally be arguing for his life. To be clear, this wasn’t just a case of a kid who was misguided with a gun and snapped. This was a long-planned, thoughtfully orchestrated decision that came complete with a manifesto. If you’ve forgotten exactly what his deal was, he’s one of those guys who’s so obsessed with the concept of supremacy that he believes that any situation in which black people are allowed their own agency is an instant threat to all white people everywhere.

He is the type who thinks that racism is only equal to calling people the N-word or burning crosses on front lawns. The type of person who doesn’t understand that his own home state had one of the biggest slave ports in the country and is still a place where the legacy of those atrocities is not exactly well-addressed. Without getting too far into normalizing the depths of his racism, his goal was to start a war between whites and blacks. And as a FBI agent told him after he was brought in for questioning, he failed.

“Only a fourth to a third of people in the South owned even one slave. Yet every white person is treated as if they had a slave-owning ancestor. This applies in the states where slavery never existed, as well as people whose families immigrated after slavery was abolished. I have read hundreds of slaves narratives from my state. And almost all of them were positive,” Roof once wrote.

Worth noting has been the resiliency of not just Charleston, but the church community specifically that was ripped apart by a murderous racist. Some of them have been present throughout the trial, even though it’s been difficult to even look at Roof’s face. It’s easy to forget that there were in fact three survivors in this situation. Here are some reactions.

Some news agencies chose to use the specific phrase “white supremacist” in describing Roof. Others didn’t.

For many black people, there was a natural gut reaction that is clearly rooted in years of systemic racism and oppression not only holding us back, but not being adjudicated correctly when it takes black lives.

At one point, the judge said that there were victims on both sides, a spurious categorization that we can only presume comes in the fact that Roof’s life is effectively over as we know it, as well. Either way, people noticed.




Ultimately, no verdict will bring back the nine lives lost on that awful Wednesday.

The sentencing phase begins Jan. 3, 2017.

Daily Dose: 12/15/16

Bundle up, America. It could save your life

10:00 AMWe’re headed to Atlanta for the second annual Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl between Grambling and North Carolina Central, the respective SWAC and MEAC Champions, on Saturday. Hopefully, I see an invisible car.

If you haven’t noticed, in most of America, it’s cold outside. Not like, “Oh, it’s cute, let’s put on our boots and go grab some gingerbread lattes” cold. More like, “If you do not have a safe situation, you might die out here” type of chill. It is December, of course, but when these snaps hit, for a lot of communities, it’s tough to just get up and be ready to deal with things like whiteout conditions. This has become far more than a local weather story, it’s affecting most of the country. ABC News reports.

The naive part of me wants to question why people don’t believe in science. But because it’s pretty clear that science falls in direct contradiction to the ability to make money on a large scale, I completely understand why it’s in a lot of people’s short-term best interest to ignore the fact that what they’re doing will hurt later generations. That’s why so many of these cabinet selections by Donald Trump scare so many people. Those folks don’t care. Scientists are speaking up about it, however. FiveThirtyEight’s Maggie Koerth-Baker reports.

Remember when Kanye West visited Donald Trump? Yeah, it was just Tuesday. Many were disappointed by the choice on both sides, but ultimately, it probably hurts Yeezy more than The Donald. You can expect that to be a staple of the cold open whenever the next Saturday Night Live airs. In the meantime, the president-elect is quite earnestly telling people that there is no formal chain of command within his ranks, at this point. Yikes. Anyway, VICE‘s Desus and Mero offer their thoughts on Ye dropping in on the next U.S. commander in chief.

The ritual of hazing in Major League Baseball is well-known. It typically involves players dressing in drag or some other form of costuming considered ridiculous, designed to embarrass and presumably instill some level of solidarity among the guys just getting up to the show. Did it feel archaic and pointless? Sure. Was there also some level of bonding involved with it? We’ll guess so. But because MLB no longer wants its spring training outings associated with fraternity practices, the league is ending it. ESPN’s Doug Glanville offers his take on the decision.

Free Food

Coffee Break: No matter what you think of memes in general as a comedy source, you certainly have favorites. So, what if I told you that you could look through 350 odd days of them from this year alone. Would that be something you were interested in? Lucky you. Obviously, the fun thing to do is pick your birthday then share it.

Snack Time: As an extreme radiophile, I get bizarrely geeked about certain aspects of the industry/business that most people don’t care about. Some, however, overlap greatly. Radio Garden is one of the coolest things ever.

Dessert: If you’ve ever wanted to spend the holidays with will.i.am, we’ve got you covered, fam.

The All Day Holiday Gift Guide

if you want to get something for the tastemaker in your life

3:30 PMIt’s that time of year, kiddos, where people start wondering if the folks that say they love them plan to make that fact known through the giving of presents. Some will swaddle them in shiny wrapping, others will stick them in bags with tissue paper, or if they’re like me, they’ll use newsprint to bestow the goods upon you.

But however you plan to acquire said items, the question of what to get is always a tough one. For kids, it’s simple. Yet, once you hit a certain age, the concept of wish lists is a tad more gauche, even though companies allow you do to so with a little less shame than a handwritten note. Anyway, maybe you want to impress the person you’re giving to beyond the usual. Maybe they need to know that your gift is actually next level. If so, this list is for you.

Soundbreaking on PBS

This documentary series is one of the most complete and exhaustive looks at the recording industry that digs far deeper than just the basic celebrity lives and careers of musicians. It’s a deep dive on the actual science and process of documenting sound and specifically music. There are nine approximately hourlong episodes, including all sorts of extra material that’s far more enriching than your average DVD extras. If you have an audiophile or someone who enjoys the history of music, it’s great.

The California Sunday Magazine


If you’re a reader type, finding a good piece of pulp to dig your hands into is a tough one. Few people subscribe to newspapers anymore, but the concept of longform journalism and writing hasn’t gone anywhere. The California Sunday Magazine is exactly what it sounds like, and with only six issues a year, it’s a great gift to someone you care about who loves to curl up with a good nonbook.



Is someone in your life looking to become a YouTube star? Look no further than Mevo, the camera that allows you to basically create a professional-quality program, without all the hassle of a television studio. Of course, almost every computer in the world has a camera now, but Mevo is different. You can shoot multiple people in multiple places, with just one unit. Your kid is ready to shine on Facebook Live, folks.

• BAPE x Adidas collaboration


I don’t get super Hypebeasty about things, but my word, look at those kicks. Seriously, that’s about as fly as it gets. If you can get your hands on some of these to give to the quasi-sneakerhead in your life, you will have done them a great favor. There’s a whole collection of things behind this line, the latest in the collaboration between the two designers has produced one great pair of shoes. They come in different colorways, but the green camo is bananas.

This amazing vanity

This is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a vanity mirror. It’s also an operating system. From a utility standpoint, this is actually a legitimately tremendous idea, not just something cool to show off to your friends. I’m not a huge mirror guy, but I probably would be if my tweets would be scrolling across the top and weather updates were in front of me. Of course, this isn’t a real thing yet, but you can bet that this guy is going to get his idea stolen by Apple, or someone, soon. There is a legit market for this.

Line Phono turntable stand

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#linephonointhewild @jonisdangerous

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When it comes to turntable setups, most vinyl enthusiasts are very, very serious. Because the fun of collecting is just as much about the nesting and process as it is about the music. That’s why people go out of their way to find obsolete technology. It’s the music equivalent to smoking a pipe. People have entire rooms, separate articles of clothing and all sorts of tools to partake in the habit. Anyway, this stand has it all, and it comes in a natural wood variety that if you want to paint and customize, you certainly can. Here’s a fun record to play first.

Black Card Revoked

If Cards Against Humanity isn’t your thing, we’ve got something for you. Those awkward hours where you’ve got to sit around spending time with family or in-laws can progress from the usual Uno/Spades/Bid Whist matrix and branch into something that actually works great as a team game. We’ve thrown a couple of these questions out in the newsroom at The Undefeated and it almost always started a tremendous back and forth. Makes a great stocking stuffer.

A Very Big Freedia Christmazz EP

Big Freedia poses in the Getty Images Portrait Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy at the 2015 Summer TCA's at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 31, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.

Big Freedia poses in the Getty Images Portrait Studio powered by Samsung Galaxy at the 2015 Summer TCA’s at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 31, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.

Maarten de Boer/Getty Images

When this project dropped, I quite literally listened to it all day. If you don’t know who Big Freedia is, you can catch up here, but more importantly, where on earth have you been? When it’s time to dance, she’s the one to go to. Anyway, her take on a couple of Christmas classics is enough to get you twerking, singing and laughing all at the same time. I might not play this in front of my mom, but you better believe that if my office has a holiday party, I’m hijacking the aux cord to rock this. It has a song called Santa Is A Gay Man, which makes it the best Christmas album of all time.

Daily Dose: 12/14/16

Bill Cosby is well aware of what’s happening in the courtroom

11:15 AMIf you’re wondering what to expect from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I’ve got you covered. Here’s my review. Also, we taped another episode of the podcast Tuesday. You can download or listen here!

The Bill Cosby trial has been moving forward. On Tuesday, prosecutors argued in court that Cosby’s many accusers should be allowed to testify in the case against him in Pennsylvania. Of course, the comedian’s lawyers plan on telling the judge that each of the women involved are of ill repute, the oldest tactic in the book. If you’re into courtroom antics, however, read this. Things have been getting very testy. ABC News profiles the 13 women looking to take the stand. Also, Cosby completely knows what’s going on, despite what his lawyers say, apparently.

Weird how life works out. Back when he ran for president, Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that he wanted to eliminate three government departments. He famously forgot the name of one of them, then said “oops” live at a debate. It tanked his candidacy because people just assumed someone that uninformed could not hold the highest office in the land. Now, who’s the stupid one? Donald Trump has tapped him to be the secretary of energy, meaning he would be leading the U.S. Department of Energy. ABC News explains this turn of events.

The situation in Syria is awful. If you haven’t been paying attention, the battle for Aleppo has highlighted how complex the conflict is there and basically left regular civilians running for their lives in all directions. It’s gotten to the point where people on social media are basically saying goodbye to the world via their networks, which is just an incredibly scary concept on so many levels. VICE‘s Tim Hume breaks down why Aleppo won’t be even close to the end of this war.

We love Richard Sherman. Not only because he’s a tremendous cornerback, but because he speaks his mind on a wide variety issues, be it things in America, or things that involve his job and the league that he plays in. On Tuesday, in criticizing the purpose and effectiveness of Thursday night games, he used a word that should be in the dictionary. If you’re a fifth grader, that is. And I say that in a complimentary way. Sometimes you have to break out the kids’ vocab to make a real point. ESPN’s Sheil Kapadia reports.

Free Food

Coffee Break: Rock, paper, scissors (or whatever you call it) used to end quite a few battles. I had a friend once tell me that it was how he and his wife would determine who had to get out of bed to console the baby when he cried at night. Anyway, if you want to see the highest stakes version of the game, ever, check this out.

Snack Time: We love a good story of espionage and sneaky tactics, but this tale of a former Wake Forest coach sharing information with opponents is a genuinely bizarre one. Who knew Demon Deacons football was so serious?

Dessert: What were you doing with your life during freshman year? Probably less than this guy.

#BlackTwitterVerificationQuestions take over

Twitter is definitely ready to make it flourish

11:00 AMOn the commute home Tuesday night was when I first saw it. I didn’t look up from it once on my bus ride until I fell asleep. When I woke up, I walked and read it. The hashtag — #BlackTwitterVerificationQuestions — which, if you don’t get it, refers to questions one might be asked in order to be verified on the beautifully ethereal yet very real megalith that is Black Twitter. I’m only halfway joking.

The best part is that not all these questions are just a history lesson quiz from #onhere. Some are just things one might have been able to casually pick up if you follow/know enough black people. The “McDonald’s money” question comes to mind for that latter category. Anyway, this entire thread is such an incisive look into the hyperspecific moments that make up so many great stories. Of course, huge shouts to Temecula on that note. I was certainly no expert at these, but take a look for yourself.

Here are some of our favorites.

The variety on these is crazy wide, though. Then, the guy @WeNotSocks started reposting backlash, which definitely provided a laugh, considering how ridiculous the whole premise was in the first place . There’s a lot of hate out there for the basic concept of Black Twitter that when it actually is recognized for moving the needle, so to speak, they freak out. Can’t have nothing.


Back to the fun.

Seriously. It made my night.


I can’t stop laughing.